In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the most famous man in the world when he completed his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. One of the first media celebrities, his life and adventures were constantly publicized, and the 1932 kidnapping and murder of his young son was billed as “the crime of the century.” Charles and his wife Anne led intensely public lives on an international scale, but the Morven Garden & Museum set out to tell the lesser-known stories of the Lindberghs and their time in New Jersey.
Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Couple of an Age was the first large-scale exhibition to interpret the lives of both Lindberghs in their entirety, and it contextualizes their strong New Jersey connections within their wider historical significance. The immersive exhibition occupies five galleries and displays over two hundred loaned artifacts, documents, images, newsreels, music and film clips. The curators transformed the mansion with life-sized images, creatively re-imagining the historic spaces to draw in visitors. Along with the Lindbergh’s groundbreaking successes, the exhibition discusses their many controversial aspects, such as political isolationism, anti-Semitic views, and illegitimate children.
The emotional impact of the exhibition is matched by Morven’s highest-caliber selection of scholars to date. The sold-out anchor lecture (362 attendees) at McCarter Theatre Center was given by A. Scott Berg, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Lindbergh. A lecture by Josiah Bunting III (president of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and completing a biography on Lindbergh’s close friend Guggenheim) also sold out.
The goal of this exhibit was to deepen visitors’ understanding of how the story of the Lindberghs, with their strong connections to New Jersey, influenced society today, and to provide a space for new and returning audiences to understand personal experiences relating to the social and political issues of the early twentieth century in America. Morven Museum & Garden also achieved their goal to increase their visitation and reach the wider Mid-Atlantic area with this comprehensive look into the Lindberghs’ personal lives alongside their famous exploits.